Apple is protective over their patents. You could imagine why. You could also imagine that, given the opportunity to accuse one of their largest competitors of infringing upon their patents, that they would seize upon it. That happened, and of course, they did. And today, they won, and HTC’s patent-violating phones will be banned from being imported starting on April 19, 2012.
Not that HTC cares that much.
Or that it matters.
The patent Apple argued HTC as violating was 647, which is over hyperlinks to phone numbers that dial out when clicked on in emails, websites, and other documents. Per Reuters, the ban doesn’t really matter. For one thing, HTC can jack up the number of imports before April if they want. For another, HTC doesn’t care, and said so themselves. It should probably be noted that Apple originally filed for ten patent violations, dropped four, and only won the one that really relates to this specific technology.
It should also be noted that this is essentially a legalspeak version of razzing the winners:
“We are very pleased with the determination and we respect it. However, the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
And then, there’s this:
A company official told Reuters that HTC will launch new phones to bypass the infringed patent very soon and it sees limited impact to the company.
So even if HTC totally stole Apple’s idea—which is totally an obvious and logical progression of the hyperlink Apple maybe shouldn’t have an extensive patent on regardless—they get away with it. Welcome to patent law!
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